The Legend of Zelda franchise has been around for over 28 years now, with seventeen main series entries (well, depending on your definition) and numerous spin-offs. While the series still has a large, dedicated fan base, there are those who feel that the games have grown a bit stale. Series producer Eiji Aonuma has been throwing around the phrase “rethink the conventions of Zelda” a lot over the past year and a half, promising big changes to the series.
In a recent interview, Aonuma and another member of the Hyrule Warriors team revealed that they’ve been actively pushing for changes, but there’s a fear of straying too far from what is expected of a Zelda game. Fans of the series, including members of the development team who grew up playing the games, are the ones holding back change.
Speaking with Giant Bomb, Hyrule Warriors development producer Yosuke Hayashi talked about his fear that Hyrule Warriors would not be well received by Zelda fans. Disappointing the fans is a major concern for Hayashi, and that applies to fans within Nintendo itself. When pushing for big changes in the series, Hayashi and Aonuma found Nintendo’s higher ups to be completely on board, but not everyone agrees.
“One interesting thing that’s happened is that when we talk to Nintendo and ask them about ideas and say ‘hey, what about doing this?’ They’re generally fairly positive. Yeah, try new things!’ They’ll give us ideas. ‘Hey, why don’t you try this out?’ It’s an open discussion and very creative. But when we bring them back and discuss those ideas with the Zelda fans internally, they come back and say ‘no, that’s not Zelda, you can’t do that!’ [laughs] They are the ones who are really strict about what you can and can’t do.” — Yosuke Hayashi
Aonuma had similar sentiments, and revealed that he often questions his team as to why certain things should or should not be changed.
“We certainly have Zelda fans within our development team, as well. We have people who were raised as kids on Zelda. I can come up with just an idea and off-the-cuff say ‘let’s not do this’ and they’ll just insist ‘nooooo, don’t touch that! That’s not acceptable!’ Then, I’ll sit down with them and go ‘why do you feel like that? Why do you feel this way?’ and we’ll have a conversation. We’ll come up with something that’s acceptable both to myself and to the very ardent fans of the series. I think what we’re ultimately able to come up with is something really unique and special that offers that something new, while, at the same time, staying true to what the fans of the series really come to love.” — Eiji Aonuma
Well, what do you say, Zelda fans? Are you ready for some changes to the series? How much can be changed without losing that Zelda feel? Sound off in the comments!
Source: Giant Bomb